Vital village bus service cuts to be debated at public meeting in Cottingham

Beth Miller with Andrew Gwynne, Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, and Corby Council leader Tom Beattie protesting against the NCC cuts
Beth Miller with Andrew Gwynne, Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, and Corby Council leader Tom Beattie protesting against the NCC cuts

All bus subsidies provided by Northamptonshire County Council have been cancelled following the authority’s financial meltdown - meaning that villages and rural communities around the county could be left without bus services.

Many rural buses are loss-making without the subsidies so bus companies are cancelling the services because they can’t afford to run them.

The number 67 bus that serves villages including Rockingham, Cottingham, East Carlton and Gretton, is to stop this month.

And the Rutland Flyer, which runs between Rutland and Corby, is also under threat.

Many students have no way of getting to school, and workers have been left high and dry without transport to work.

Now Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Corby Beth Miller is to host a public meeting on Wednesday, May 23, and anyone who is concerned about the bus cuts is welcome to go along.

Speakers include deputy leader of Corby Council Jean Addison.

Beth said: “It is an absolute disgrace that villagers are being so badly affected by these cuts because of mismanagement by county councillors who are meant to represent their interests.

“We want to give villagers an opportunity to share their views and talk about what action can be taken to save these vital services.

“This meeting is a chance for villagers to tell us how we can make a difference.”

Beth also says that the proposed changes to the Urgent Care Centre in Corby mean that many villagers not registered with a GP in the borough will be unable to use the service.

This means villagers in Gretton, who use the GP services at Uppingham, will not be able to use an emergency health centre which is just six miles away from their homes.

Rutland Council, currently looking for a new bus company to take over the Flyer which is a vital lifeline for villages like Middleton and Cottingham, has been contacted by Labour-led Corby Council who have given their support for the services.

Beth, who was once a regular passenger on the Flyer, said: “It is about time we start to value our rural communities and ensure services are available to preserve this way of life.”

The meeting is on Wednesday, May 23, from 7.30pm at Cottingham village hall in Berryfield Road.

To read more about the loss of rural bus services in the area, click here